The Low-Tech Secret to Criminal Minds’ ‘Ghost Voit’ Gimmick — Plus, How Can Rossi Shake the Spectre?

The following contains spoilers from the first episode of Criminal Minds: Evolution Season 2.

The BAU’s David Rossi is literally haunted in the wake of being imprisoned and nearly killed by Elias Voit.

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As revealed in the Criminal Minds: Evolution season premiere (which picked up just two weeks after the events of last year’s finale), while the flesh-and-blood Voit (played by Zach Gilford) is cooling his heels in federal custody, Rossi (Joe Mantegna) is being “visited” — and taunted — by the spectre of The Serial Killer Formerly Known as Sicarius.

In the scenes with “Ghost Voit” (as he was dubbed on-set), Gilford’s character “materializes” out of nowhere and just as eerily “disappears,” as the camera swoops behind a column or other brief obstruction.

But while it may seem that visual effects and/or editing trickery is being used to phase Ghost Voit in and out of the picture, Criminal Minds: Evolution is simply just hustling Gilford in and out of frame!

“It was all practical,” Criminal Minds showrunner Erica Messer informs TVLine. “In the car in Episode 1, [Ghost Voit] is sitting there, and when Rossi leans forward and Alvez knocks on the window, Zach is literally just [crouching] down.

“And when Prentiss comes into the office, Zach just drops out of view,” Messer adds with a laugh. “As the season goes on, different directors try different things, but we really all tried to just play it in-camera.”

Gilford himself recalls, “The scene at the roundtable room in the first episode, I’m literally just hiding under the table, ducked down. Everyone has to do this scene, talk talk talk, while I’m crouched by Kirsten [Vangsness]’ feet.”

Cheering the low-tech approach, Mantegna says, “Sometimes the old methods are the best methods,” while Gilford, who directed this season’s eighth episode, suggests that “it lends itself to being way more interesting visually because it’d be just subtle camera moves, and all a sudden I was there, and all of a sudden I was gone.”

But when will Ghost Voit actually get gone? What will it take for Rossi to shake the not-so-friendly ghost?

“Well, we’ll find out, won’t we?” teases Mantegna. “That’s part of the intrigue of where we’re going with this.”

In the meantime, “It’s pretty apparent that David is bothered” by his unwanted companion, Mantegna notes, “but this is a guy with a tremendous ego, so he’ll be the last to ask for help or assistance.”

Explaining Rossi’s rather composed attitude(/denial?), Mantegna shares, “I saw a quote once, at a dry cleaner out where I live, that basically said, ‘When you have to walk through hell, walk like you own the place.’ And I think that’s David Rossi in this particular situation.”

Want scoop on the already-renewed Criminal Minds, or for any other TV show ? Email, and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line!

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